Home Sport GAP Connah's Quay FC

WELSH PREMIER: Airbus celebrate license appeal verdict but relegated Nomads attack restructuring

AIRBUS are celebrating after succeeding in their appeal to play in the Welsh Premier League next season.

But neighbours Gap Connah’s Quay, a founder member of the league, have attacked the FAW’s overhaul of the competition after dropping out of the top flight for the first time in 18 years, calling the plans “ill-conceived, badly planned and unfairly implemented.”

Airbus finished in the top 10 to qualify for a place in the 2010-11 season but failed to secure the necessary safety certificate to satisfy the FAW.

But after working with Flintshire County Council’s Building Control department, they managed to appease the governing body and secure a Domestic Licence which will allow them to take up their spot in the Welsh Premier in August, something even Welsh Premier giants Rhyl failed to manage.

“Never have clubs been asked to achieve so much in order to secure their league future,” said Wingmakers general manager John Williams.

“We have invested greatly in improving the facilities here at the Airfield and a lot of people have worked incredibly hard to do everything we were asked to continue in the Welsh Premier.

“We have improved the drainage and surface as well as the spectator areas and thankfully we were able to work with Building Control to secure the right documentation for the FAW.”

Airbus have yet to map out their plan for 2010-11 on the pitch, but the club is negotiating a date to face Everton at the Airfield this coming pre-season.

But Nomads, who finished one place outside the top 10 and who could have taken Rhyl’s place in the Premier had they not failed to get a safety certificate, have attacked the FAW’s restructuring of the league system.

In a statement the Nomads board said: “Quite bluntly, we believe that the restructuring has been ill-conceived, badly planned and unfairly implemented.

“We believe it was ill-conceived because the justification was based on other leagues around Europe (especially Scotland) running with a smaller number of clubs.

“Every league and country has its own set of circumstances and has to be organised in a way that uses those circumstances as an opportunity for growth.

“We live in a country where football is not the national sport and we live next door to perhaps the best league in the world – circumstances not many other countries would experience.

“Even the much quoted role model of the SPL is considering expanding back to 18 clubs, surely there is a signal there.”

Nomads also accused the Domestic Licensing process of unfairness and a lack of clarity which has made it impossible for some clubs to attain the necessary standards.

“We believe that, regardless of statements to the contrary, the Domestic Licensing process has not been carried out in a fair manner.

“The Welsh Premier Licensing Manual that has been around for two years required that a third party – local authorities – would sign off on licences but it appears nobody actually asked then if they were willing to do this.

“This has meant that some clubs could have the luxury of working with their local authorities to get their stadia to the required standard, whereas others were subjected to a last minute inspection with less than one week to carry out any corrective action.

“We are resigned to the coming season in the Cymru Alliance but even here we see the effect of the current indecision.

“There are clubs unsure where they will be playing in 2010-11 and there are players who feel left in limbo.”